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Coding, Cubelets and Ozobots, oh my

student's hands and cubelet robots

Throughout the week of Dec. 6-11, Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School celebrated Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) by participating in the international Hour of Code.

CSEdWeek was founded as an international call to action to raise awareness of the need to elevate computer science education at all levels and to underscore the critical role of computing in all careers.

Fort Plain High School’s Toppers participated in Hour of Code activities with teachers Kevin Bogus, Laurie Capece, Louise Clute, Kreig Heroth, Kajee Quick, Lucas Santiago, Wendy Stokna, Susan Summerfield and Lisa Trembley. Teachers worked with Educational Technology Specialist Rachel Heroth and Library Media Specialist Tariyka Chaulk to integrate coding into their curriculum, and students enjoyed accessing content through a computer science lens.

Hour of Code activities included various hands-on coding, robotics, and computational thinking lessons. Students in Materials Processing, Keyboarding, and Math used Ozobot and Cubelet robots to understand how mechatronics is utilized in manufacturing, how to write and transfer code to robots through multiple sensors and channels, and how robots can be used to solve and illustrate mathematical equations.

In English, students learned how to code a program using block and JavaScript languages to animate poems to convey mood, and how to code a storyboard. In Science, students wrote programs to create a solar system, illustrate the importance of recycling, and create a tether game to simulate the principles of physics.

Students also had some fun writing code to create their own video games and complete challenges based on popular video games and pop culture characters.

CSEdWeek is just the beginning of what the future holds for FPHS students as the district implements new Computer Science and Digital Fluency standards adopted by the state last December. The district will work toward full implementation of the new standards, with three years to build awareness and capacity.

Events like the Hour of Code are great opportunities for introducing computer science skills into our classrooms and getting students excited about learning how to code. Computer science and digital fluency are being further integrated into existing courses and curriculum, and computer science is being developed into future course offerings.

More information about the New York State Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards can be found at

Article submitted by Rachel Heroth, educational technology specialist

students coding at desks

Rachel Heroth and Kreig Heroth in front of classroom

In the photos:
At top: Student working with Cubelet robots
Middle photo: Students coding Ozobots
Bottom photo: Rachel Heroth teaches about Cubelet robots with Kreig Heroth